Displaying items by tag: chart interpretation http://kepler.edu Sat, 30 Aug 2014 04:16:45 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Rectification against all odds: A Vedic Astrologer looks at Vladimir Putin's Chart http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/508-rectification-putin http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/508-rectification-putin Rectification against all odds: A Vedic Astrologer looks at Vladimir Putin's Chart

Rectification of a birth horoscope is the process of using the birth chart and astrological timing methods to test and clarify the true birth time of an individual. Since it might well be considered the Mount Everest or Holy Grail of astrological exercises: very challenging, fraught with errors, a low likelihood of success, and a high chance of failure - why then, attempt it? When no birth time is available or if there are multiple conflicting reports, the rectification exercise resembles the challenge of searching half the Indian Ocean for a missing jetliner. But a successful rectification opens up the possibility of a high degree of accuracy in prediction, particularly if it is based upon a timed-tested tradition.

One of the features that drew me to Vedic Astrology as a student at Kepler in 2006 was the astonishing accuracy of the timing methods of the Vedic tradition, which has been in use for several thousand years at least. When events are unfolding on a world-wide scale, another compelling reason to attempt rectification emerges: the hope of shedding light upon the actions and motives of a leader like Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, whose increasingly bold and attention-getting moves culminated with the invasion of Crimea on March 1, 2014. Here I am presenting one possible rectification for Putin's birth time, provided as a sort of research item which can be tested based on events in the next few years. If this birth time is close to correct, I think it is likely it should be possible to test it as well against western rectification as well.


Vladimir Putin's Birth Data

Birth Date: Oct 7, 1952 time unknown, conflicting reports.
Rectified by Lynn Bootes using Vedic astrology for 17:00 Capricorn rising
Birth Place: Leningrad, Russia 59 N 55, 30 E 20
Data source: Astrodatabank archived March 26, 2014. “C” data. There is a reply to an e-mail to Putin's Webmaster, citing government archives, of 9:30 am. There is a report of a conversation in which Putin stated 1:00 pm. There are several rectified times. See http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Putin,_Vladimir
Biographical source: Wikipedia, archived March 26, 2014, cites over 214 sources.

Putin's birth date, according to his website, was October 7, 1952, in Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia). This is a Gregorian or western date, not a Julian date as used in the Russian Orthodox Church calendar – I verified this with a friend and client who is a Russian ex-patriate and her family. Even if he was baptized, a likely event, the recorded birth would be the government date, which used the western calendar. A rumor has circulated recently that he may have been born two years previously in Georgia and secretly adopted. However, the dates of school entry, graduation and college education fit exactly the norm for the Soviet system at the time, and according to my source it would have been highly unusual to change the birth date or year even in the event of adoption.

The Astrodatabank notes there are no birth certificates issued in Russia, and the source of data is the government archives. In 2002, Putin's webmaster replied to an e-mail, stating his birth time was 9:30 am. Another individual reported a conversation in which Putin quoted 1:00 pm. A number of rectifications have been attempted by Western astrologers, with various birth times. Such conflicting reports are considered “C” data by the databank editors.


Working with Vedic Astrology

If the reader is not familiar with Vedic astrology, a few words of explanation are in order. Most of the meanings assigned to the Zodiac signs, planets and houses are similar to Western astrology. The most important difference from most Western or tropical astrology is the use of the Sidereal Zodiac: that is, the divisions of the Zodiac signs are based upon the position of marker stars, rather than the spring Equinox. The two systems were more or less the same about 2,000 years ago, when Hellenistic and Vedic astrology texts were written, but due to Precession of the Equinoxes, the tropical zodiac used in the west no longer corresponds with stellar constellations.

In India, while exact details differ from region to region, the government standard Lahiri ayanamsa (the difference between tropical and sidereal) is based upon the position of the star Spica at 1 degree Libra. This star rises at sunset when the sun is in 1 degree Aries on about April 14. The difference between the two zodiacs is about 24 degrees. Thus, Putin's Sun is at 21 degrees Virgo in a Vedic chart and 15 degrees Libra in a tropical chart.

A second notable difference is that Vedic astrology places very little or no attention on the outer planets or asteroids, even though they are acknowledged to exist. Instead the Sun, Moon, visible planets and the North and South lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are used. The interlocking rulerships of the planets, signs and houses are extremely important and work in a fashion very similar to Hellenistic and Medieval systems.

A third difference is the use of Whole Sign Houses: if the Ascendant is, for instance, 17 degrees Capricorn, then the entire sign Capricorn is considered to be the first house, and the houses are of equal size and counted from the first house. The Midheaven is commonly ignored and the 10th house serves as the marker of career. Because of this different house system, it is not uncommon for one or more planets to be placed in a different house than in the Western chart. 

A fourth difference is that the chart is laid out in a square fashion: the North Indian style is very similar to Medieval Persian and European chart forms except that the Ascendant is at the top and it is read counter-clockwise. In the South Indian style the Zodiac signs are always in the same position with Pisces at the top left and the Ascendant is marked on the chart and it is read clockwise.

Timing a Life in Vedic Astrology

Timing in Vedic astrology relies in large part on Dasha systems, customarily derived from the traditional Lunar Zodiac of India, the 27 Nakshatras or Lunar constellations. Each is 13 degrees and 20 minutes of longitude, approximately the distance travelled by the Moon from one night to the next. In the most commonly used Vimshottari Dasha system, each Nakshatra is assigned a one of nine planetary rulers, which have a specified order and have a specified number of years assigned to them, adding up to 120. (There are a number of different Dasha systems, but I will deal only with Vimshottari here).

The Moon's position in a Nakshatra at birth is used as the starting mark for clocking the effects of dasha periods in a person's life. For instance, Putin's Vedic Moon is in Taurus; if he were born before  about 10:00 am, his birth Nakshatra would have been Krittika, and the first dasha planet would have been the Sun. After 10:00 am, the Moon was in Rohini and the ruling dasha period at birth would have been the Moon. Transits of planets through the signs and houses play a secondary role in Vedic astrology.

Figure 1: Putin's Chart based on the official archivesI first looked at Putin's chart with the 9:30 am birth time, a chart which I concluded is not likely to be accurate. (See figure 1 at right) This chart has an Ascendant (Lagna) of 9 degrees Libra with Venus in the first house. Venus is the ruler of Libra and thus of the first house and is opposite Jupiter in Aries in the 7th house.

Note that Vedic astrology uses whole sign aspects and only a few of them, conjunctions, oppositions, and a few other selected “special” aspects. I take issue with this as his chart simply based upon the position of Venus: I would expect a far more charming individual with more interest in the arts. Also, with Jupiter in the 7th house, his marital relationship ought to have been more positive rather than troubled.

This chart has Sun, Saturn, and Mercury in the 12th house and Moon in the 8th house. This is not a likely placement for someone who has risen from humble origins to the pinnacle of power: in Vedic astrology this is an “Aristha Yoga” of difficulty and obstacles. It does not have a “Raja Yoga” of rise above ones' station in which the 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th house rulers combine in a positive fashion: the 4th and 5th house ruler is Saturn in the 12th house.

The 9th house ruler Mercury is in the 12th, and the 10th house ruler Moon is in the 8th. Putin's mother and father were both influential in his life and lived until 1999; in this chart the 4th house ruler Saturn indicates the mother, and the 9th house ruler, Mercury, the father. Both are in the 12th house as is the Sun, so some loss of parental care would be expected which did not happen apparently. Finally, the South Node, Ketu, is in the 10th house, and people born with Ketu in this location commonly have more than average setbacks in career

9:30 AM, OCTOBER 7, 1952

SUN DASHA: Birth to Nov 24, 1952, age 6 weeks
MOON DASHA: Nov 24, 1952 to Nov 24, 1962, age 10 years, 1 month
MARS DASHA: Nov 24, 1960 to Nov 24, 1969, age 17 years, 1 month
RAHU DASHA: Nov 24, 1969 to Nov 24, 1987, age 35 years, 1 month
JUPITER DASHA: Nov 24, 1987 to Nov 24, 2003, age 51 years, 1 month
SATURN DASHA: Nov 24, 2003 to Nov 24, 2022, age 70 years, 1 month

I next looked at the Vimshottari Dashas for this chart (figure 2). I am skeptical of the birth time because the dasha periods just don't quite line up. It has been my experience that people who have long, successful careers often first become ambitious if they begin Rahu Dasha at a young age. Putin has said that martial arts training, which he began in 1966, had a significant role in his development. However, in the 9:30 am birth time, he would not have entered Rahu dasha until 1969, his last year of secondary school. This would have been overly late to explain admission to an elite university directly from high school – he would have had to have been diligent through secondary school to achieve this.

Another concern is that Jupiter dasha began in 1987, four years after his marriage and six years after he began a career in the KGB, the Soviet Secret Service, in which he steadily rose through the levels of bureaucracy. Finally, he entered Saturn dasha in 2003, four years after the fateful events of 1999-2000 in which he became Yeltin's appointed successor and then President of Russia. Notice that several key events occurred about four years before the dashas changed in this chart; for a Vedic astrologer, this is a key clue to how far off the chart might be from the true birth time.

Rectifying to a 5:00 pm Birth Time

Putin chart Figure 03I then checked various birth times to find out which hour would best fit the dasha periods. The best fit, I believe is with a sidereal Capricorn rising, corresponding to about 5:00 pm birth time. (See figure 3).

Can I picture Putin as a Capricorn rising individual, serious, hard-working, and ambitious? Definitely!

I next looked at the Ascendant ruler, Saturn, which in this chart is well-placed in Virgo in the 9th house with the Sun. The father, described by the 9th house, would be active in his life, serious and strict – his father was a naval officer and a war veteran and party member with a factory job – humble but able to provide a frugal living. The mother, is described by the 4th house, Aires, which has Jupiter placed in it – his mother was religious and provided well for him. Despite having grown up in squalid communal housing, he nonetheless had a secure childhood with regular meals, good education, and a path to Communist Party membership, far better than his parents' generation.

failure of his only marriage. placed Moon exalted in Taurus in the 5th house, with its' ruler Venus in the 10th. The 9th house ruler Mercury is in the 10th. Venus the 10th house ruler is in its own house. Only the 5th house ruler, Mars, is in an unfavorable location in the 12th. In this chart, Rahu, the North Node, is in the first house, adding extra emphasis to the idea that he is an ambitious individual. Mars in the 12th house could fit with a person working in the KGB and having an interest in martial arts, a individual rather than team sport in which strategy and surprise play a key role.

Note the 10th house is Libra and that in this chart Mercury has moved to the 10th house and Venus is there, with an aspect from Jupiter in the 4th house. One would expect to find someone who can be successful in a career and who can use charm and negotiation as a tool. The 9th house is Virgo and with Sun and Saturn there we would expect someone who did well in higher education and studied some serious practical subjects: in his case Law and later a post-graduate degree in Economics. This is not the chart of someone with a military career.

Dasha's Calculated for 5:00 p.m.

17:00 (5:00 PM)

MOON DASHA: Birth to Nov 24, 1959 – age 7 years 1 month
MARS DASHA: Nov 24, 1959 to Nov 24, 1966 – age 14 years 1 month
RAHU DASHA: Nov 24, 1966 to Nov 24, 1984 – Age 32 years, 1 month
JUPITER DASHA: Nov 24, 1984 to Nov 24, 2000 – Age 48 years, 1 month
SATURN DASHA: Nov 24, 2000 to Nov 24, 2019 – Age 67 years, 1 month

SATURN/SATURN: Nov 23, 2000 to Nov 27, 2003
SATURN/MERCURY: Nov 27, 2003 To Aug 6, 2006
SATURN/KETU: Aug 6, 2006 to Sept 15, 2007
SATURN/VENUS: Sept 15, 2007 to Nov 15, 2010
SATURN/SUN: Nov 15, 2010 to Oct 28, 2011
SATURN/MOON: Oct 28, 2011 to May 28, 2013
SATURN/MARS: May 28, 2013 to July 7, 2014
SATURN/RAHU: July 7, 2014 to May 13, 2017
 SATURN/JUPITER: May 13, 2017 to Nov 24, 2019

Moon Dasha: In this chart he began life in Moon dasha – the Moon is exalted in the 5th house, a favorable house, and he was apparently a healthy child who experienced parental love and care.

Mars dasha began in 1959 shortly before he entered school in 1960. The only information is a report that at age 11 he was one of the last children of his 4th year class to be admitted to the Communist Youth Organization because of his unruly behavior. Although very general, this does fit the description of a Mars dasha.

Rahu dasha began at age 14 in 1966, the year he began martial arts training; in the Capricorn rising chart the Rahu dasha gains extra importance since Rahu is in the first house. We should not underestimate the importance of the martial arts to his development and refining his ambitions. This dasha carried him through the rest of his academic career and early years in the KGB and fits so well with the image of a man whose career was as a spy!

Jupiter dashanote that he married and had two children near the beginning of Jupiter dasha, and that in 1986 he went to work for the KGB in East Germany. He was called back to Leningrad in 1990 after the collapse of the Communist Empire.

In the summer of 1991, corresponding with the Ketu sub-period of Jupiter dasha, there was an attempted coup by the KGB against Gorbachev, and at this time Putin resigned from the KGB and the Communist Party. This is exactly the sort of event one associates with a Ketu sub-period in Jupiter – an interruption or setback in a steady rise.

Later in 1991 he was investigated over some financial impropriety involving $95 million dollars which took place while he worked for the city government. But despite the recommendations of a panel to fire him, he held on to his job in the city government. Note that for a Capricorn rising individual, Jupiter dasha is not the height of the career, as it is a functional malefic, ruling the 3rd and 12th houses. Rather it is the preparation for the Saturn dasha which is generally the height of career.

In the remaining years of Jupiter dasha, he rose steadily in the government of St. Petersburg and later transferred to Moscow as part of the Yeltsin government.

Saturn dasha began in 2000 and will end in 2019. In the last year of Jupiter dasha, on Dec 31, 1999, Yeltsin abruptly resigned and named him as successor of an interim government. He stood for election as President of Russia in 2000, again in 2004, and in 2012.

Saturn is the Ascendant Lord and is in the 9th house and rules the 10th house, so for Putin the Saturn years are the peak career years. During the years 2008-2012 his close associate Dimitri Medvedev served as president, but all have agreed Putin retained a substantial degree of control behind the scenes of government.

Other notable events include the Kursk disaster in August, 2000, the second was in Chechnya in 2000, and the Moscow theater hostage crisis of March 14, 2004, major diplomatic gestures to Iran, Libya and China in 2007, and invasion of Georgia in 2008. The Pussy Riots took place in February, 2012 and the Sochi Winter Olympics in February 2014. The Arab Spring of 2011 and the entry of NATO into Libya took place during the Saturn/Moon sub-period.

Mars sub-period of Saturn Dasha. This sub-period began some time in the spring of 2014. Because Mars is in the 12th house it may be reasonable to expect secret action and dealing. In the fall of 2013, Putin offered asylum to Edward Snowden, the American NSA agent who absconded from the USA with classified data he claimed revealed evidence of massive violation of the privacy rights of Americans. Russia thus obtained potential access to much of the workings of the American security systems, a major coup for Putin. Russia overtly and covertly aided Syrian President Assad despite objections from almost all other nations about the horrific methods used by the Syrian government in that civil war. The Mars sub-period is currently in effect until some time in the summer of 2014.

period of Saturn Dasha. If the proposed birth time is correct, some time in the summer of 2014 he will enter the Rahu sub-period. During this three-year period Putin can be expected to be uncommonly ambitious and domineering, and will continue to use subterfuge and secret dealings.

Saturn/Rahu is also a sub-period in which health issues may be a concern, particularly in someone more than 60 years of age. However, as he appears to have a strong constitution I think it would be prudent to expect him to be around and in power at least through the end of Saturn dasha in 2020.


Although the location of the planets at the present time, transits, receive secondary attention in classical Vedic astrology, they are still revealing.

Saturn has been in the sidereal Libra, Putin's 10th house, most of the time since November 2011 and will remain there until November, 2014. Since Saturn is Putin's Ascendant Lord and he is also running Saturn Dasha, it is a particularly powerful actor in career and political power – he really is at the top of his game.

Rahu, the North Node, entered Libra in January of 2013 and remains until July of 2014. Since Rahu is present in his natal first house and has been the signifier of personal ambition for Putin, it has added extra force to his power-plays.

Mars briefly entered Libra in February, 2014, but has since moved back into Virgo, his 9th house, where it will remain until July 14, 2014. Since Saturn/Mars is the current sub-period lord, it assumes a lot of importance in current events. I expect Putin will back off and resort to diplomacy this spring and early summer.

But after July 14, when Rahu and Mars change signs one day apart and close to the time Putin will enter the Saturn/Rahu sup-period, I expect he will show his hand with more aggressive and insidious power-plays; indeed he may be only warming up.

Finally, let me again stress that this is a speculative rectified chart and not based on any sort of data on Putin's birth time, presented here for research purposes.

  • vladimir putin
  • rectification
  • chart interpretation
    Chart Interpretation Tue, 01 Apr 2014 00:27:04 +0000
    Astrology's Orderly Chaos http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/astrology-culture/item/505-astrology-orderly-chaos http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/astrology-culture/item/505-astrology-orderly-chaos Astrology's Orderly Chaos

    Over the past few decades, “chaos theory” and “complexity theory” have emerged as new scientific models for understanding chaotic and/or complex systems. Chaos theory has grown out of physics and mathematics. Complexity theory has developed mainly from studying biological and human systems. These theories share a natural alignment with the spirit and practice of astrology, more so than other attempts to use astrology with the concepts of modern science. The current configuration of Uranus and Pluto makes this an auspicious time to discuss chaos and complexity theory with astrologers.

    Among the many resources available to the general reader on the subjects, I am particularly indebted to Bernadette Brady’s Astrology: A Place in Chaos (2006).[1] She has helped open up chaos theory to astrologers and has inspired much of the study I have done in this area. Although my ideas differ from hers in some ways, I suggest that anybody who wishes to study this material further begin with Ms. Brady’s book – but don’t stop there. At the end of this article I include additional resources for the  interested reader.

    This essay is divided into three parts. First, we look at chaos from our own understanding and experience and briefly trace its history in cosmology and philosophy. The second part provides a brief history of the development of modern science’s chaos theory, some of its methods and findings, and possible applications to astrology.  Science’s chaos theory examines disorder, or randomness, while seeking to find its underlying hidden structures – as we do as astrologers. Finally, we will look briefly at the idea of complexity, which provides an understanding of states that move toward chaos, or move from the more chaotic to the more orderly.

    The title of this article is taken from a book by the Buddhist teacher, Chögyam Trungpa, entitled Orderly Chaos (1991).[2] Chögyam Trungpa tells us that the mandala principle (a view of the structure of the world and life around us) is orderly chaos: it comes in a pattern, but working with this pattern is chaotic, confusing. As astrologers, we are along a similar path, applying the ordered world of astrological delineation to the seemingly random events in the lives of our clients. 

    The Word “Chaos” and Its Modern Use

    Google’s NGram Viewer tracks the frequency of words in publications in English since the 1800’s. Applying this graph to “chaos” and “chaotic” shows how common these words are in our language at various points in time.Google NGram View of the usage of the words "Chaos" and "Chaotic" in publications since 1840


    Google NGram View of the usage of the words "Chaos" and "Chaotic" in publications since 1840.

    Their frequency of use grew during the more difficult times of the last century, but increased even more within the past twenty years. Interestingly, their usage increased dramatically in the mid-1960’s at the peak of the Uranus/Pluto conjunction and the world events signaled by that conjunction.

    What is the meaning of “chaos” and “chaotic” in our daily lives? It often refers to a flurry of disorganized activity around us when everything seems to be coming at us at once. We lose our sense of centrality and the world becomes temporarily disordered. Chaos is disorienting and overwhelming, requiring a great amount of energy from us.

    But some chaos can be good. In a work of music or art, a moment of chaos can have a spontaneous feel to it, and we enjoy the chaos of five-year-old children engaged in boisterous activity – until we have to get them to sit still. Even if we sometimes experience chaos in our lives as unpleasant, at other times we long for things to get interesting once again. Chaos brings many people to their astrologers. Our clients may experience their current life situations as overwhelming and unpleasant, or they may  feel stuck and long to have things stirred up. Much of our work as consulting astrologers is to help people navigate life’s movements toward chaos, or the re-emergence of new order from chaos.

    Chaos as Ante-Archetype

    The concept of “chaos” has a long and interesting history, beginning with stories of the world’s creation. In many traditions the world spontaneously arose from chaos in stages. In the Book of Genesis, creation also happens that way, but under the direction of a conscious, intentional Creator.

    An earlier Babylonian tale begins with Tiamat, the “mother of chaos”: feminine, maternal, and the dark primeval ocean. Her husband Apsu was the fresh water. They gave rise to generations of gods whose exuberant activity irritated the steady but inert Tiamat and Apsu. Then things got even worse when Apsu was killed and the situation descended into warfare. The god-children had brought chaos to their beleaguered parents.

    The leader of the upstart gods was the princely, heroic Marduk, who is the planet Jupiter in Babylonian astrology. Moving against his primal ancestor, Marduk caused storms and havoc, and he eventually shot an arrow through Tiamat, killing her. He then cut up her dead body, and from her remains formed our world. Relief sculptures of this great battle cast Tiamat as monstrous or amphibian. The result of this destructive chaos is the ordered, hierarchical universe governed by Marduk, yet formed from the body of Tiamat, the deity who represents nature as originally vast but inert and unformed.

    The motif of chaos and creation as generational conflict is echoed in Hesiod, a Greek poet of the 7th century CE. According to Hesiod, Chaos is not a god but a dark void from which the first parts of creation come forth: Gaia, Tartarus of the underground Earth, and Eros. Then day arises, followed by the first generations of Titans and later the Olympian Gods. This sequence culminated in Zeus’s triumph over his father, the titan Chronos. Again, we have creation happening in steps from formlessness.

    Ovid, the Roman poet writing seven centuries after Hesiod, tells us that originally there was just Chaos, described as “a shapeless, unwrought mass of inert bulk/and nothing more, with the discordant seeds/of disconnected elements all heaped/together  in anarchic disarray.” (Metamorphosis: Book 1:10-13)[3] Everything is a jumble, a hurly- burly that makes no sense. Ovid’s rendition of chaos seems closest to the word that  has come down to us today.

    In the oriental traditions, chaos is cast differently. In the Tao Te Ching, chaos is the ongoing activity of creation: things are brought about darkly and chaotically and unfathomably. This parallels the concept of the Feminine Principle from the Indo- Tibetan traditions: the ongoing background of space and emptiness that continually gives rise to our world.

    This concept of chaos as primordial parallels our modern psychological concept  of the “fertile void” – the open-ended psychic space that gives rise to new understanding and creative solutions. Is this the same “chaos” that we experience in our lives? I think not.

    In its original formulations, chaos is previous to, and more basic than, ordered time and the creation of the stars and planets with our ordered universe. Thus, we are before astrology – no stars or planets can symbolically represent this background to the created world. This is not the “chaos” of everyday discourse, but rather ante-archetype (perhaps anti-archetype).

    Chaos as a Value

    In the literature of ancient Greece there was an important role for chaos. In the Iliad, Homer exalted the carnage and glory of warfare. He presented the heroic (though short and violent) life of Achilles as being superior to a long but ordinary life.  For the later poet Sophocles, life itself is not subject to the ordering activity of reason, but always veers toward the chaotic. We need to accept the fact that the world does not make sense, yet we can act within that world with dignity and heroism.

    This contrasts with Greco-Roman philosophy and psychology that emphasized using our intelligence to control the inherent disorder of our bodily senses and passions. Our rational faculty is like the chariot driver driving the horses of our unruly appetites  and emotions. A successful outcome is a good person and a good citizen. This also  has a metaphysical dimension: the material world requires in-forming activity from  above and beyond to become intelligible. This flourished in Neoplatonic traditions of late antiquity.

    Neoplatonism profoundly influenced the medieval Christian doctrine, but there were three divergences that are important here. Theological doctrines of the Incarnation, the Creation of the Material World, and the Resurrection of the Body legitimized a new interest in the natural material world. This helped give rise to Western science, beginning in the 1200’s with the rediscovery of Aristotle. The goal became to discover the hidden order of the world: to find the footprints of an ordering God within the disorder of the material world. A couple of hundred years later, the theological doctrines fell away and the “scientific revolution” could begin.


    We skip ahead a few centuries and discuss the life of a modern prophet of chaos, someone who loved Homer and Sophocles, and considered most ancient and medieval philosophy to be decadent. This is the nineteenth century European philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. His writings called into question the main principles of Christian ethics and modern democracy, and considered his contemporary culture to be sick. In his personal life, Nietzsche was a lonely and emotionally tortured man. Today he is considered one of the most interesting modern philosophers.

    In The Birth of Tragedy, which Nietzsche wrote in his twenties, he posited an opposition of the Apollonian and Dionysian, an opposition between a longing for order and a longing for disorder. The Apollonian was represented by nostalgia for form and by the visual arts. The Dionysian was allied with music, for music stimulates us to sing and dance and get carried away. The Dionysian ideal was to give rise to the chaos within ourselves. Nietzsche tended toward the transformative qualities of chaos:

    "You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame:  how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?"

    Friedrich Nietzsche’s chart has some eye-popping components and a particular emphasis on oppositions that involve Uranus and Pluto.[4]


    Friedrich Nietzsche's Natal Chart Using Whole Sign Houses


    Friedrich Nietzsche's Natal Chart Using Whole Sign Houses

    Nobody could be surprised that Nietzsche had a Scorpio Ascendant. The fiery red planet Mars, governing Scorpio, is in a strong position in the Eleventh House, the ancient place of the “Good Spirit.” This Mars, signifying Nietzsche’s fiery disposition, has a close opposition to a dignified Jupiter that adds a philosophical outlook. Jupiter makes an important contact to Uranus: they are contra-antiscia, symmetrical to the 0° Aries – Libra axis. This placement contributed to making Nietzsche an unusual philosopher, somebody with a bit of the renegade in him. In discussions of Nietzsche’s writings, we read frequent assertions that his life and ideas are “untimely”, ahead of his time.

    In this context we can see more clearly the close opposition from Uranus to Mercury. These two planets figure prominently in the story of the development of the field of chaos.

    Nietzsche wedded excellent prose with a desire to be philosophically  provocative. Many of Nietzsche’s writings are left open-ended as if he was conversing directly with his reader. “Conventional wisdom” was something to be dismantled and dialogue is how to do that. For this, we can thank the configuration of Mercury opposite Uranus, and Uranus symmetrical to a dignified Jupiter.

    This brings us to Nietzsche's other major opposition: Sun opposite Pluto. Consider his Sun in Libra in the Twelfth House that appears rather weak. Yet this is mitigated by the Lot of Daimon being nearby[5], and the Sun conjunct and co-rising with the fixed star Spica.[6] He was a dynamic and creatively fertile individual in his writings, but not very self-expressive in person. When we factor in the opposition from Pluto, we see somebody who can articulate philosophical principles based on will and power, as well as the creative intensity of the passions.

    The oppositions of Mercury with Uranus and Sun with Pluto are both in the cadent Sixth and Twelfth Places. Although Nietzsche’s writings have an abundance of the heroic, and even a defense of life’s cruelties, in person he was reserved, even kind and compassionate.

    With such strong placements of Uranus and Pluto in his natal chart, we would expect Nietzsche’s life to be sensitive to their transits. In 1879, he resigned his decade- long post as professor of philology at Basel University and began a decade of  wandering as an independent author. Chaos suddenly intruded in late 1882 when he was co-habitating with his writer friend, Paul Reé, and the young Lou Andreas Salomé, whom Nietzsche had fallen in love with. While transiting Pluto was opposing his Ascendant, his two friends ran off together, leaving Nietzsche alone in despair. Yet a few months later, in January 1883, Nietzsche completed the first part of his Also Sprach Zarathustra in a white heat of productivity while transiting Uranus moved over his Midheaven. During the completion of this masterwork over the next two years, Uranus moved over his Mars and Mercury opposite his Jupiter and Uranus.

    Unfortunately, Nietzsche’s life ended in his becoming insane and increasingly physically incapacitated, spending his last ten years in the care of his family. His mental breakdown happened in the early days of 1889 with transiting Uranus making its first pass over his Sun in opposition to Pluto. (Transiting Neptune was also approaching an opposition to his Ascendant.)

    As we will see later, Nietzsche’s breakdown was an indication of complexity--a radical shift toward chaos that can give rise to a creative response; his breakdown, however, was closer to chaos in a most tragic and irreversible form.

    Closer to our lifetimes was Chögyam Trungpa, who fled Tibet and taught Buddhism in the West. Like Nietzsche, Trungpa also espoused a philosophy we could call chaotic, taking delight in disorder as a great way to wake people up.

    Very beautiful situations have developed using chaos as part of the enlightened approach. There is chaos of all kinds developing all the time: psychological dis- order, social dis-order, metaphysical dis-order, what have you, constantly happening. If you are trying to stop those situations, you are looking for external means of liberating yourself, another answer. But if we are able to look into the basic situation, then chaos is the inspiration, confusion is the inspiration.[7]

    Nietzsche’s and Chögyam Trungpa’s views are also reflected within different schools of psychotherapy in the twentieth century that have strongly influenced current astrological counseling. From this glimpse of chaos, we now go to the “hard sciences” to continue the story.

    Chaos as Scientific Study

    I will focus on three occasions that help us understand the new science of chaos: the non-solution to the three body debate that gave us a first glimpse of weird order behind disorder; the discovery of Sensitive Dependency to Initial Conditions (“the Butterfly Effect”) and “strange attractors”; and the research of paths from order to chaos and the discovery of self-similarity and scale invariance.

    We begin with an ideal of all the physical sciences: accurate prediction. In a dynamic system using Newtonian physics, if you knew all the factors involved and could apply those fixed laws that are relevant to the interaction, you could predict future conditions accurately. From this point of view, the enterprise of science aims to curb  the unpredictable nature of future time.

    The physics of Isaac Newton and the “age of enlightenment” achieved much, but only up to a point, and from the beginning there was a worm in the apple. Although its crowning success was in predicting the location and movements of planets around the Sun, they could not predict location and movement of three planetary bodies whose gravitational forces influenced each other.

    In the late 1800’s there was a contest to award the scientist who could come closest to solving the three-body problem. The young French physicist, Jules Henri Poincaré, one of the greatest scientists of his time, decided to tackle this difficulty.

    To find a solution, Poincaré devised a concept called “state space” and an instrument later called the “Poincaré map” wherein all the possible states of a system are displayed as a discrete shape. He conjectured that by placing all the information on one graph, patterns previously undetected could be discerned. He was making good progress, but then he discovered he had made a mistake. Redoing his computations, he came up with a startling result: a curved pattern formed by the permutations of three bodies influencing one another. A pair of curves looped back on themselves, crossing  to form an infinity of intersections. No two curves could ever cross themselves, but they would cross the web an infinite number of times.

    Here we have an example of orderly chaos: finding qualities, characteristics and rules, but not the anticipated coherent pattern. Poincaré determined that the planets’ changing positions and velocities could not be calculated accurately. He found this simple interaction between three planets to have unpredictable characteristics. There was a pattern inherent within, but none that he could understand.

    (There is an important difference between the scientific study “chaos” and quantum physics and Heisenberg’s principle of indeterminacy. Here we are working with a fully deterministic system, whereby present conditions give rise to future conditions. Instead, quantum theory uses indices of probability.)


    Poincare's Natal Chart Using Whole Sign Houses

    Poincaré's Natal Chart Using Whole Sign Houses

    Here is Poincaré’s natal chart.[8] We first notice many planets in the earth element, but with Mercury particularly strong, angular in Aries and oriental. Mercury is also the midpoint of Sun and Neptune. Poincaré was a plodding person who could stick to one thing well, yet he had a wiry and supple mind.

    Once again, we find Uranus and Pluto to be prominent. We first notice the Sun applying towards Uranus, but then we see that the Sun is at the Uranus/Pluto midpoint. Poincaré was a pioneering physicist and mathematician who helped develop the new field of topology: the mathematical study of strange forms such as the Mobius strip.

    In early 1887, the year he had completed his project and won the scientific prize, transiting Uranus was opposing his natal Mercury. In the best expression of this transit, Poincaré had produced a wonderful feat of intellectual imagination and thereby established the methodology and outcome of scientific chaos.

    Yet he and the world of science moved on from his odd “solution” to the three- body problem. It wasn’t until the early 1960’s that the science of chaos picked up again. It resumed through an investigation into a different chaotic system – the weather. Here we meet Ed Lorenz, a mathematician who became a meteorologist and devoted himself to finding a mathematical means to predict weather. Lorenz devised an elaborate set of equations to model the weather, and with a room filled up with the early computers, he got to work. On one famous evening, he tried to short-cut the data entry process for the start-up conditions and entered rounded off values while re-running a particular model. He rounded his numbers to three decimal places whereas the original model had run with numbers to 6 decimal places. When he returned, he discovered that this small difference made for vastly different weather!

    Most scientists might have blamed the problem on bad equipment or faulty inputting (both checked out fine), or attributed the result to having had a tough day, but Lorenz investigated further. Later this phenomenon would be called “Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions” (SDIC). This shows the effect of our weather system as nonlinear: a small change can give rise to disproportionately large effects. This turns out to be the case with all interactive systems.

    Lorenz’s discoveries and his first publications occurred before the famous Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the mid-60s, yet ten years afterwards SDIC became known as “the Butterfly Effect” to the scientific community and in the popular imagination.

    Does a natal astrology chart also exhibit Sensitive Dependence of Initial Conditions? Not in the same way as Lorenz’s “Butterfly Effect.” Changing an Ascendant from 29° Scorpio to 00° Sagittarius would have helped Friedrich Nietzsche be a more socially and emotionally secure person, but this would have been the case from birth. Strictly speaking, the “Butterfly Effect” displays increasing divergences over time. It is similar to the 1998 movie “Sliding Doors” where a woman missing the subway or not would have consequences that increasingly diverged throughout the movie.

    Lorenz moved from complex weather equations to simpler ones using  convection: the patterns of water rising and falling from a heated surface below and a cooler surface above. This is also illustrated with moving water wheels. As the wheel fills with water, the wheel will stay still, or oscillation will occur periodically or haphazardly, depending on the amount of tamping of the wheel’s motion. (Do a search on YouTube for “Lorenz Water Wheel” for a video demonstration.) Our interest here is in the haphazard back-and-forth movements of the water wheel.

    The Lorenz AttractorLorenz found that the seemingly random movements of the wheel did settle into  a form, but what a weird form it was! It was three-dimensional, non-returning and a-periodic. This became known as the “Lorenz Attractor”, one of many such shapes that were later called strange attractors. (His definitely looks like a butterfly’s wings.) A strange attractor is different from a point attractor or basin, where things converge at one point, or a periodic attractor that resolves into a regular oscillation. Because the system is a- periodic and the foci are irregular, this attractor certainly qualifies as “strange”.

    All three kinds of attractors are found in astrology. The stars, planets and angles move around a fixed point that is the Earth in a geocentric chart, or the Sun in a heliocentric chart. Additionally, the planets are periodically “attracted” to its  conjunctions with the Sun and other planets. This is because the positions of the  angles and planets are deterministic and also linear.

    According to the art of astrology, the always-changing and never-repeating configurations of the skies give rise to the patterned but unpredictable circumstances in our lives. These circumstances may have their own repeating situations, coincidences, and omen-like occurrences with hidden meaning.[9] Astrology gives a conceptual framework for this to occur. The applications of astrology help us understand these occasions – they provide context. Although the configurations of the sky are linear, we use them as strange attractors in their ability to signify people and events on Earth.

    Let’s take a brief look at Lorenz’s natal chart. Unfortunately, we only have a date of birth. Although it appears that Lorenz has a close Moon-Pluto conjunction, this is not trustworthy because of the unknown birth time.

    Natal Chart for Edward Lorenz using Whole Sign Houses

    Natal Chart for Edward Lorenz using Whole Sign Houses (Note: Birth time is unknown)

    Lorenz’s Sun in Gemini sextile to Neptune qualifies him as a bright and unusually imaginative person. As with Poincaré, Uranus figures prominently: it is in close applying square to both Mercury and Jupiter in Taurus. We see the doggedness of the sign Taurus, and the brilliance and eccentricity associated with Uranus. During the time of his research into the chaotic nature of weather prediction, unsurprisingly, transiting Uranus was in opposition to his natal Mercury; his initial article was published in 1963 when transiting Uranus was in opposition to his natal Sun. Lorenz’s trailblazing work was practically unnoticed when it was first published in the 1960’s. Today he is considered a pioneer of the study of chaos.


    Our next development takes us into systems and patterns that reveal themselves on the way into chaos. The foremost name associated with this development is Robert May, a theoretical biologist working in the mid-1970’s.

    At that time May was working with the mathematics of insect population growth. This is also an example of a nonlinear system of interacting components: a growing population will compete for limited resources, variable predator populations, etc. As a result, population will decrease and increase again, and so on. According to the mathematical model used, if the growth rate is too small the species dies out; if the growth rate is a little higher, the population resolves into a continuous oscillation; larger rates of growth, however, result in population swings that are irregular and seemingly random.

    The diagram below shows the results of increases of population growth from what’s called a “logistic map.” It gives a different version of the “state space” discussed previously. The vertical “x” stands for the population; the “r” horizontal axis is the rate of growth. The map begins simply and then things start to get weird.

    Logistic map of population growthThe single line to the left (rate of growth (r) =2.4 to about 3.0) is an example of a point attractor – there is a steady population growth. We first see bifurcations into two paths at r= 3.0 to about 3.45. Here, the population is oscillating between a high and low population level. This would be a periodic attractor if they lead to a regular oscillation but they do not. Instead they lead to another bifurcation into four values (two different highs and two different lows) and then another one into eight and this can continue. Then we reach the “accumulation point”, an amount a shade less than r=3.6, where things seem to go out of control.

    However, when we look to the right of the accumulation point, we see a darkened area but one not without some form. If we could look closer at the white areas, we  would find further bifurcations that look quite like the visible ones. This is not the mess that it appears to be; instead, it obeys principles of self-similarity – we get the same general shape of horseshoe, though they are not quite the same. They are not quantitative identities but quantitative similarities.

    There is another strange factor to the shape: its rate of decrease of the horseshoe shapes that are the bifurcations. A mathematician named Mitchell Feigenbaum discovered that the rate of decrease horizontally, and the difference in values horizontally between “period doublings” was 4.6692016091. These same numbers would show up in other chaotic systems, from iterating a function on a hand calculator to chemical and physical systems of values or qualities that interact with each other. The scientific study of chaos leads not to an affirmation of randomness, but rather to the discovery of a kind of order that is very hard for us to comprehend. Can anybody find a rationale for Feigenbaum’s number?

    In our lives, do we encounter bifurcations and period doublings? When do we not encounter them? Any moment in which we are not acting out of habit we meet bifurcations. Indeed, when we examine our responses to specific situations in our lives, we always encounter a moment to go one way or the other. Tomorrow’s route is based on the one we take today, and so bifurcations and period doublings lead to unpredictable but deterministic outcomes. Perhaps this is what free will is.

    As astrologers working with clients, we can spot times of new possibilities for  the client, but not know what direction he or she will choose. From knowing astrological symbolism and having some understanding of the circumstances and issues our client  is facing, we can make some good conjectures, but the outcomes are unpredictable. The client may be influenced by our advice, but the actions always belong to him or her.

    In astrology do we encounter self-similarity? We certainly encounter self- similarity in time. Consider the range of sensitive points in a natal chart: every day the Ascendant and Midheaven transit the same sensitive points; each month the Moon and each year the Sun will transit these points; Saturn will take almost thirty years. This is also the case with directions, many ancient chronocrator systems profections of 30° a year, and the movement of the age point according to the Huber method of progression.[10]


    Moving on to the next development in Chaos Theory, we will now look at fractals. The person most associated with this is Benoit Mandelbrot, who coined the term from the Latin word for “irregular”. It turns out that fractals are far more prevalent in nature than are the standard geometrical shapes. Their presence ranges from the twisting shapes of many jagged shorelines, to the intricate surfaces of our lungs and brains, to the distribution to leaves on a tree, to the contours of geological formations. They also are found in various art forms. Fractals obey principles of self-similarity and scale invariance – the same shapes appear regardless of larger or smaller scales.

    Certain mathematical equations that use “complex” numbers (merging real and imaginary numbers) can give rise to stunning forms. The best known is the “Mandelbrot set” that contains forms that continue infinitely. I trust that interested readers will pursue the story further on their own. An animation of the Mandelbrot set is a great place to begin and is easily found on the internet.

    To summarize, the study of chaos is the study of systems of apparent chaos. “Chaotic” phenomena may be non-periodic and unpredictable, but they are not random. Instead, they show evidence of peculiar kinds of order.  There are many other systems that also appear random that are not yet understood by the science of chaos. For example, we cannot quite determine highly complex interactive systems like the general economy, although we can perceive patterns of self-similarity and scale invariance in  the stock market. Social trends among highly interactive beings like ourselves are at  the high end of seeming randomness.

    As a logos, astrology is not about chaos but order. Certainly the sky and earth we look at as astrologers have an order to it. Otherwise we couldn’t predict planets’ positions in the sky and would have nothing to base our predictions upon. This is the case whether we use earth maps or star maps, geocentric or heliocentric positions, or a Hellenistic or Vedic chart. Yet its relationship with chaos and complexity gives astrology its relevance and importance in peoples’ lives. People seek the advice of astrologers (among others), not because their lives proceed randomly, but because there is unknown order behind these seemingly random happenings of life.

    Uranus and Pluto, Chaos and Complexity

    Now we engage the so-called “soft sciences,” particularly sociology, anthropology, and psychology. How do systems – individuals and families, species of living things, cultures and fashions – change? All these are dynamic, nonlinear systems made of interacting components. Here, instead of being called “Chaos Theory”, it is called “Complexity Theory.”

    What is Complexity? It is the transitional stage between chaos and order and back again. When the direction is from order on its way to chaos, this a path of entropy. Closed systems that do not interact well with their environments may move into entropy. If so, the loss of internal energy and the growing influence of outside forces will eventually overwhelm a system’s capacity to adapt and maintain its form.

    Complexity also occurs in relatively chaotic systems on their way toward order as self-organization occurs. There is a strong tendency in nature for different units to coalesce to create one larger unit, whether it’s the development of more complex life forms in evolution, the unconscious synchronization of rhythms between people, or the tendency of people, families, and cultures to create new forms out of disarray. The astrologer’s job is to help identify and support this process as it occurs.

    As we know from our own lives and those of others, we do not have the ability to endure chaos for very long. If chaos can grow into complexity, however, new creative “self-organizing” possibilities occur.

    Chaos is not the “fertile void” after all. Instead, the richness of new possibility is the activity of complexity--the movement from fixed order toward chaos and then back toward order. This provides us with our greatest creative possibilities.

    From an astrological viewpoint, this movement that results in either entropy or self-organization is correlated to our interpretations of Pluto and Uranus: Uranus because its nature is turbulence; Pluto because it undermines fixed patterns. (Neptune may compromise the core structure from the inside, as we’ve seen with Friedrich Nietzsche’s breakdown.)

    From the natal placements of Uranus and Pluto, we may see what areas of our lives are most likely to move to and from chaos; their transits show when movements toward chaos will happen. They may signal those times when our lives can be shaken up by external events or by our own subjective choices.

    Eventually nature’s tendencies toward synchronization and self-organization take over and new creative possibilities emerge. Neither transiting Uranus nor Pluto can govern these possibilities: when these planets have finished their work of transition, the newer structures of life take over.


    I end with Uranus and Pluto and chaos in the life of one of my clients. She has been married for ten years and has two children, yet is determined that her marriage end. At this time her husband is resisting and has refused to leave their house. It is likely that the result will be a contested divorce suit and a bitter custody battle, especially since she wants to live overseas with her children. She may also decide to stay with him after all. Her chart and transits clearly depict her difficult situation

    “Marriage on the Rocks” Chart using Whole Signs

    “Marriage on the Rocks” Chart using Whole Signs

    My client’s natal chart displays a strong Sun opposite Pluto with its implications  of power struggles in relationships. This is made more complicated by her conservative Saturn in the First House and an enabling Neptune-Moon conjunction in the Seventh. Also, Mercury in Pisces in the Tenth, although strongly positioned as ruler of her Ascendant, may show a tendency to minimize difficulties or put off dealing with them – until Mercury’s square from Saturn kicks in. At this time, however, she has chosen to face all her difficulties at once.

    Pluto began her marital drama in 2009 when, from Capricorn, it formed a square to Sun in Aries and Pluto in Libra. This began a process of increasing discontent. In the period from May through September 2011, with Uranus dwelling on her natal Sun and opposing Pluto, my client resolved to end the marriage and began the separation and divorce process. At the time of this writing (December 2011), Mars has entered the sign Virgo where it will remain for the entire first half of 2012. Mars is in her Fourth House of home and family, and is right now transiting Saturn, Mercury, and her Midheaven.

    Of course she wants to know what is going to happen! We can look at the timing of these transits as peaks and valleys in the process. We also know that she has begun a course of events – a temporary descent toward chaos – that she cannot undo and that will have ramifications for her own life as well as all her family members. Even if she stays married to her husband, it would be a very different marriage that would need to emerge.

    The future course of events will be dictated by her own actions and those of her husband, their respective lawyers, their children, and the legal system. Although she has initiated these events, she cannot control their outcome. Specific outcomes are based on shifting contexts. An astrologer cannot predict exactly who will do what, any more than the physicist can figure out the exact locations and velocities of three planets that influence each other’s gravitational fields.

    However, based on the relevant astrological symbolism, knowing the client, and an application of intuition, the astrologer may come up with some pretty good ideas.  Yet they will be only approximations. In this case I do know that a week after Mars leaves Virgo and her Fourth House, she has a progressed New Moon. Things are indeed “chaotic” in the ordinary use of the word, but there is order within the maelstrom from which new order and a new life will emerge.


    Brady, Bernadette. Astrology: A Place in Chaos (2006) Bournemouth,UK: The Wessex Astrologer

    Bütz, Michael. Chaos and Complexity: Implications for Psychological Theory and Practice (1997) Washington DC: Taylor & Francis

    Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science (1987) New York: Viking

    Smith, Leonard. Chaos: A Very Short Introduction (2007) New York: Oxford University Press

    Strogatz, Steven. Chaos (2008) Chantilly, Va. The Teaching Company (24 lectures and Course Guidebook)

    1. Notes

      [1] Bournemouth, UK: Wessex Astrologer
    2. [2] From Shambhala Publications. Orderly Chaos also appears in The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Vol. 6, p. 301-425 Boston Ma: Shambhala Publications, 2004
    3. [3] Translation by Charles Martin.  (2004) New York, W.W.Norton
    4. [4] Chart reliability is “B” according to Astrodatabank: derived from biographical sources.
    5. [5] Otherwise known as the “Lot of Spirit”, this Lot is symmetrical to the Ascendant of the Lot of Fortune. If the Lot of Fortune represents outer circumstances and circumstances we cannot directly control, the Lot of  Daimon signifies areas of deliberation and conscious choice.
    6. [6] Spica is the largest star of the constellation Virgo and is associated with good fortune, fertility and creativity. This is one of the most positive stars used by astrologers.
    7. [7] Ocean of Dharma: The Everyday Wisdom of Chögyam Trungpa. #12. (2008)Boston, Ma. Shambhala Publications
    8. [8] Chart reliability is “AA”: from birth records.
    9. [9] Brady (2006). 65-67
    10. [10] http://www.astrologicalpsychology.org/articleageprogression.html  Accessed Dec. 12, 2011.
    • chaos theory
    • buddhism
    • archetypes
    • chart interpretation
      joseph.crane2@gmail.com (Joseph Crane) Astrology and Culture Tue, 18 Mar 2014 02:55:31 +0000
      Profile: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/501-nelson-mandela http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/501-nelson-mandela Nelson Mandela

      Earlier this summer Nelson Mandela was hospitalized, was repeatedly placed in critical condition, and released from his hospital to go home. No news for month. Then, as the world found out quickly, on Thursday December 5 he finally departed from this life.

      International media was well prepared for his death, and the press coverage has had carpet bombing dimensions. Saying goodbye to Mandela has become a major international event and most national leaders will be on hand for his memorial service this week. Now is the perfect time to look at his life and his astrology. First a little biographical background is helpful.

      Back in the mid-1960s one of my classes in elementary school was geography. Studying Africa, I learned about the new post-colonial reality on the continent: many of the European powers had relinquished control over their African colonies and there had been other successful movements by blacks to overthrow their white colonists. I also learned that South Africa was different from the others. Not only was the country dominated by a white government but they had a policy of apartheid through which blacks were isolated in designated “homelands” and had no political or economic power within their mineral-rich and potentially prosperous country.

      I do not recall back then knowing about Nelson Mandela and his imprisonment for life. The South African government had become increasingly harsh and rigid. The African National Congress, the group in which Mandela was a leader, had been moving toward more violent and confrontative approaches, and Mandela had previously gone abroad for military training. At the age of 9 and in the sixth grade I wasn’t particularly following this story.

      Nelson Mandela As the next decades passed, South African became one of the world’s great problem places. The white government and society became even more rigid and repressive; increasing political violence and many black deaths rendered South African a pariah state internationally.

      By the 1980’s the end of apartheid has become an international cause célèbre. Resulting sanctions on South African had cost them billions of potential revenue; the country had also been excluded from most international cultural and sports occasions.Nelson Mandela’s release from prison became part of the campaign against apartheid. Although he had not been seen in public since 1964, he had become a world figure.

      On the other side was the South African government that was trying to find a way out of this increasingly untenable situation. During this time there had been secret negotiations between Mandela and the South African President P.W. Botha, but they had proved unsuccessful – the South African leader had imposed too many preconditions. In 1989 the new President F.W. de Klerk desired to significantly reform – if not dismantle – apartheid. He needed a leader from the other side to negotiate with and the solution was obvious, so in early February 1990 Mandela was unconditionally released from prison. Mandela’s departure from prison was televised internationally and billions of people – including me – watched the occasion. Mandela was 71 years old then and had been imprisoned for 27 years.
      What happened over the next several years was remarkable. The path of negotiation was difficult and marred by violence, yet in 1994 a multi-racial election selected Mandela over F.W. de Klerk and he took over the nation’s leadership. Over the next five years as his country’s leader, Mandela succeeded in dismantling apartheid as a legal system and brought the races closer together without violence and a cycle of revenge. He had the difficult task of reassuring whites while addressing the growing expectations of black South Africans.

      Some of Mandela’s moves were symbolic but were nonetheless important. South Africa’s re-entry into the world of international sports competition culminated in the rugby championship with his country as host. Mandela supported the formerly all-white rugby team in its emergence into a national team. (See the 2009 film Invictus for detail and for a good movie.) More directly, Mandela also established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which traded amnesty for full disclosure of previous crimes during the apartheid era. This allowed the process to change to go forward without cycles of revenge. It has become a model for other nations in similar situations.

      During his time Mandela had sought to improve the cultural, economic, and educational conditions for the country’s black majority. He made some progress although this long project still continues. His work on the cause of treating and eradicating AIDS had to wait until the end of his Presidency, after one of his sons died from the disease.

      He has won as many humanitarian awards as can be won (including a Nobel Prize with F.W. de Klerk in 1993) and his international reputation is unparalleled. His place in history as an inspirational political figure is assured.

      The Astrology

      With all these things in mind, let’s look at his birth chart, or should we say, a birth chart.

      The best we know is that Mandela was born in the afternoon, although we are not completely sure of the date itself. This chart has been rectified by the well-known astrologer Noel Tyl who has significant ties with South Africa. I am not complexly happy with this chart, but I will use here, for there a few things I really like about it.

      Nelson Mandela Chart - Click to open large chart in new windowClick chart at left to open in new window.

      We begin with the Ascendant, of course. We know the usual connotations of Sagittarius – adventurous, visionary, and tuned into ideas – but this can take us only so far. We need to look at many other factors.

      We can also note the presence of the North Node conjunct the Ascendant. Unlike some other astrologers, I do not use the North Node as a karmic position – what in the birth chart is not a karmic position? Instead I follow the traditional teaching that considers the North Node a factor of enhancement: since the Ascendant is an index of personal presence this may argue for Mandela’s strong personal impact.
      We look at the domicile lord of Sagittarius and there is Jupiter exalted in Cancer. Jupiter in Cancer combines Jupiter’s interest in the “big picture” with Cancer’s ability to make things personal. Jupiter is strong in other ways – it is in sect and is oriental to the Sun (rising in the East before sunrise).

      Astrologers who use a quadrant house system (e.g., Placidus, Koch) may find Jupiter in the Seventh Place, not the Eighth. For a man who spent twenty-seven years in prison, I am not surprised by seeing the Sun and Moon along with the ruler of the Ascendant in Mandela’s Eighth and Twelfth Places. It well befits someone whose calling required had a great personal sacrifice; the chart of a fortunate man would not be that of Nelson Mandela.

      We are still discussing his Ascendant but I need to bring in a seemingly-unrelated factor. Jupiter conjunct Pluto well fits someone who would have a transformational impact on his nation, yet many people have this configuration and by itself this conjunction does not argue for his unique path. But when we look more closely to the degree of this Ascendant, 23° and 43 minutes of Sagittarius, this closely connects to Pluto at 5° and minutes of Cancer are by equal-power, contra-antiscia, or symmetrical to 0° Aries/Libra – take your pick how to talk about it. The involvement of the Ascendant makes personal Mandela’s Jupiter-Pluto conjunction. This factor has helped me acquiesce to Tyl’s rectified birth time. Here the identification of Pluto with the power of transformation lives up to its promise.
      Another justification for this birth time is that when Mandela began his long prison sentence, Uranus was transiting the degree of this chart’s Midheaven. One’s first response to this claim is possibly a startle response – Uranus is a planet of freedom, not imprisonment! Of course, there is a common literary and historical motif of the contrast between inner liberation and physical confinement. Mandela accomplished this but then went a few steps further: while in prison he learned to the Africaaner language of his jailors and steeped himself in the history and culture of those who had dominated his country and oppressed his people. This background would help him build bridges to the white population after prison and as his country’s leader. It was a highly unusual and innovative move without any hope of it ever adding up to anything.

      Now we examine Mandela’s luminaries Sun in Cancer and Moon in Scorpio. No matter what time of that day in which he was born, Moon would be in Scorpio and thus in fall. Once again, Moon in fall does not make for a happy personal life, and even as a young man his drive and ambition overwhelmed his personal life and brought his first marriage to an end. Moon in Scorpio is, however, intense and very tough, not particularly tender and accommodating; it sacrifices the convenient or even the interests of common sense to its passion. Having become in prison an international figure and an embarrassment to the South African government, Mandela could have secured his prison release many years before it happened; he could have “played along” with the government, returned to his “homeland” and nobody would have begrudged him wanting to live a pleasanter life than what he had experienced in prison. But he would and could not do this.

      Moon is applying in a trine to the Sun and that would be the case unless he was born much earlier that day. The Sun is, of course, a symbol of leadership and the Moon’s application certainly points Mandela in that direction. However, Mandela’s Sun is not particularly dignified in Cancer and his leadership has been of a less regal and more personalizing nature. Ironically Mandela is increasingly referred to as “Father of his Country” in South Africa. We could be more neutral and just call him “Parent”.

      We notice a close separating Saturn-Mercury conjunction in Leo in Mandela’s Ninth Place. Mandela has been able to apply higher principles to situations that seem politically and personably intractable.

      Saturn is in detriment in Leo, being opposite one of its ruling signs Aquarius. Yet nobody is going to accuse Mandela of having lack of discipline! There are further factors to examine. Saturn is in sect and also is in a masculine sign and on the same side of the horizon as the Sun – the medieval call this in “hayz”. There is further enhancement as Saturn is in its own bounds. Saturn helps focus and constrain Mandela’s Mercury, giving his Mercury in Leo a greater objectivity and solidity that it otherwise would have. As a national leader Mandela was not a master of details, nor was he particularly nimble, but he continually kept focus on his objectives and worked doggedly toward them. This becomes even more important since the Lot of Spirit, the “Lot of the Sun”, is in the same sign Leo, therefore considerations of this Lot are strongly influenced by this Mercury-Saturn combination that lends itself toward focus and mental discipline.

      Mars is in Libra in his Eleventh House, a fortunate Place, but is in the sign Libra, not such a fortunate sign for Mars. Mars is also out of sect here, yet Mandela has not shown the signs of an over exuberant Mars – at least not as a mature adult. That Mars is the ruler of his Lot of Fortune and is opposite the sign of the Lot of Fortune has not argued well for the quality of his fortune. Mars is helped by its relationship with its dispositor Venus that is in Gemini in the 7th. Together they give him a greater personal charm and lightness than his other chart indicators would suggest.

      I end by quickly noting some of the important transits during the time of his release from prison and for the next several years. In 1989 Jupiter had been in the sign Cancer and was returning to his natal Jupiter and also in conjunction with natal Pluto. Jupiter had retrograded and Mandela was released at its direct station directly in conjunction with his natal Jupiter. And now, of course, Jupiter is in Cancer: it is common that at the time of a person’s death – especially for one of his prominence –there is a strong Jupiter connection.

      (During this time, using the Hellenistic method of circumambulations, the Sun’s direction had been in a trine to Jupiter. This was a very significant and positive direction for Mandela at that time.)

      In 1990, as Mandela was reintroducing himself to the world and had begun negotiations with the South African government to end apartheid, transiting Neptune and then Uranus were on his Mars and Saturn had a long dwelling on his natal Sun – these were confusing and difficult times, especially as the negotiations had proved thorny and he was facing rising expectations and rising violence by the black community. In 1994-5, when he became President and when his first year in office featured the World Rugby competition, Uranus and the Neptune were in Capricorn both opposing his natal Sun. This is one case in with the visionary nature of the combination of Uranus and Neptune did work out in real life.

      Updated and revised from Astrology Institute Newsletter July 2013

      • nelson mandela
      • south africa
      • chart interpretation
        joseph.crane2@gmail.com (Joseph Crane) Working with the Chart Sat, 21 Dec 2013 02:16:08 +0000
        W113 Practicum: Moving the Chart - Delineation http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/classes/individual-certificates/item/496-w113 http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/classes/individual-certificates/item/496-w113 W113 Practicum: Moving the Chart - Delineation

        Instructors: Carol Tebbs, Jacqui Menkes, Judy Holloway or Lana Kirtser.

        Either W112 or W113 may be taken to complete the certificate for Moving the Chart in Time. In addition, W112 may be taken as an elective for the certificate diploma; Pre-requisite: W110 (and preferably W111) or Challenge
        You may have worked with transits, progressions, directions or other methods of moving the chart in time, but still find it difficult to synthesize all the different factors or choose the right tool to answer a specific question, this course will help.
        Students will receive guided practice in learning how to analyze the chart, select an appropriate method for the issue at hand, identify key factors, help your clients understand life events and potentials for action and growth.

        • diploma elective
        • certificate
        • chart interpretation
        • online classes
        • catalog
          kepler@kepler.edu (Kepler) Moving the Chart in Time Wed, 23 Oct 2013 18:47:37 +0000
          Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Unveiling the Modern Shadow http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/481-unveiling-the-modern-shadow http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/481-unveiling-the-modern-shadow Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of Mary Shelley)

          Born Mary Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was the daughter of the revolutionary feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft (see portrait above), whose powerful treatise, Vindication of the Rights of Woman [pdf version], opened up new avenues of possibility for the education of women at the commencement of the 19th century. Her daughter was one such beneficiary of Wollstonecraft’s desire to reform women’s education, going on to publish the wildly popular novel Frankenstein at the young age of 20. A look at the planetary aspects of Mary Shelley’s natal chart, using the perspective of archetypal astrology, can help illustrate how the archetypal energies correlated with the planets of our solar system were expressed in her personal life and in her writing, with a particular focus on her masterwork, Frankenstein. An analysis of the world transits, and the personal transits they form to Shelley’s natal chart, at the time of the publication of Frankenstein provide further insight into Shelley’s writing.

          Mary Shelley's ChartPortrait of Shelley by Alfred Clint (1819)Mary Godwin, who became Mary Shelley upon her marriage to the Romantic poet Percy Shelley (see portrait at left), was born August 30, 1797 at 11:20 pm in London, England (click on chart at right to open a new window with a large version). Most prominent in her chart is a triple conjunction of the Sun, Mars, and Uranus in the sign of Virgo, in a tight 180° opposition to Pluto, with Mars closest to Pluto in the opposition. The Sun is archetypally correlated with the principle of the self, of one’s central identity and focus, and the areas in which one shines or expresses oneself most prominently. Uranus, the first of the outer planets to be discovered in the modern era, is correlated with the revolutionary impulse, with breakthrough, rebellion, genius, brilliance, technology, electricity, the young, and the new. Sun-Uranus aspects are often found in the natal charts of brilliant individuals whose work has provided some kind of breakthrough or revolutionary shift in consciousness or worldview, from Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler, to Newton, Kant, and Freud. The planet Uranus is archetypally correlated with the Greek myth of Prometheus, the Titan who stole fire (a symbol for consciousness) from the Gods and gave it to humanity. Mary Shelley’s husband, Percy Shelley, was also a Sun-Uranus figure. His expression of the archetypal complex can clearly be seen in his poem Prometheus Unbound.

          Mary Shelley’s personal expression of the Sun-Uranus combination comes through in the brilliance of her individual expression in her breakthrough first novel, which even has the apt subtitle The Modern Prometheus. The character of Victor Frankenstein is that of a rebel seeking to create life by means of technological innovation, all of which are Uranian themes. He desires to create new life alone, not as father and mother, but to elevate himself to the role of God the Father, the individual solar hero on his quest of technological prowess. Frankenstein takes on the role of both father and mother, rebelling against the order of nature, doing so in an act of technological breakthrough and brilliance. While working, Frankenstein speaks of those he would create, saying “No Father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.” Yet, he must also suffer the consequences of achievement. Like Prometheus, whose gift to humanity leads to his eternal punishment—chained to a rock while an eagle consumes his liver each day only to have it grow back again each night—Frankenstein is haunted by the life he gave, the monster he created out of his own hubris and ambition.

          Mary Shelley’s Sun-Mars-Uranus triple conjunction is, as mentioned above, in opposition to Pluto. The Uranus-Pluto opposition Shelley is born under is the primary transit that defined the tumultuous era of the French Revolutionary Period. The Uranus-Pluto impulse is toward revolutionary change on a mass scale, the liberation of the repressed and the oppressed, and the unleashing of the taboo. It is the same transit that defined the 1960s countercultural era and our current moment of world revolutions and protests, from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement, to the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act in the United States this current summer.

          Frankenstein Published TransitsAn interesting connection between Mary Shelley and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, is that Wollstonecraft was born with Uranus square Pluto in 1759 and published her masterwork, Vindication of the Rights of Woman, under the Uranus-opposite-Pluto in 1792. Her daughter was born just five years later in 1797 under the same Uranus-Pluto transit, and she went on to publish her own masterpiece, Frankenstein, under the subsequent Uranus square Pluto that was just beginning to come into the orb of influence in 1818 [click on the chart at right to open a large version in a new window]. Both mother and daughter’s writing has a revolutionary quality: they were both breaking through the gender barrier in their era that oppressed female writers, and female expression as a whole.

          The quality of Shelley’s Frankenstein also expresses Uranus-Pluto archetypal themes in the eruption of the shadow in her story which tells of the creation, through the Uranian technological spark of life, of a Plutonic monster. Shelley reveals and shines light upon (Sun-Uranus) the potential monstrosity (Pluto) of technology (Uranus), as well as the hubris of the modern age and the notion of progress, demonstrating how the sudden break (Uranus) with from the course of nature (Pluto) can unleash (Uranus) tremendous horrors (Pluto). In Frankenstein’s words he describes,

          One secret which I alone possessed was the hope to which I dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on my midnight labors, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding places.[3]

          The relentless pursuit of nature, the reference to ‘her hiding places,’ and even the idea of a ‘secret. . . possessed’ evoke the underworld nature of the Plutonic, while the sense of the technological secret of life held by a single individual reflects the Sun-Uranus complex. Interestingly, this pursuit of nature is echoed by Dr. Frankenstein’s vengeful pursuit of the monster across the northern wilderness in the latter portion of the book. 

          The manner in which the horror of Shelley’s narrative unfolds clearly reflects not only her Sun-Uranus conjunction opposite Pluto, but also the Mars-Pluto opposition that is part of this larger complex in her natal chart. Mars correlates with the archetype of the warrior, with a potential range of manifestations from energy, action, and athleticism, to anger and even violence. The archetype of Pluto deepens any archetype with which it is in aspect, so the Mars-Pluto combination can potentially come through as a deep rage or potentially murderous violence, which is clearly expressed in the revenge of the monster of Shelley’s narrative. That Shelley has the Sun in aspect with her Mars-Pluto opposition can be seen in the individual embodiment of the violent shadow, both literally in the monster but also in the individual acts of Frankenstein that brought about the monster’s creation. 

          Briefly, I would like to touch on a few other aspects in Shelley’s chart that come through in the nature and style of her writing. Shelley has a tight Sun-Neptune sextile which is beautifully captured in a sentence she used to describe herself as a child: “As a child I scribbled. . . Still I had a dearer pleasure than this, which was the formation of castles in the air.”[4] The archetype of Neptune correlates, in one form of its expression, with the imagination and transcendence, which come through in this whimsical, imaginal quote illustrating Shelley’s innate ability to create imaginative narrative. She is also born with a Mercury-Venus conjunction, which can be seen in the beautiful, lyrical quality of her writing. The archetype of Mercury correlates with all forms of communication and expression—from writing, to thinking, speaking, and sensing—while the archetype of Venus correlates to beauty and artistry. Shelley’s Mercury-Venus can also be seen in the romantic fairy-story qualities of some of her other works, such as The Dream or The Heir of Mandolfo. Furthermore, Mercury is in a tight sextile to the Moon in Shelley’s chart, an example of which is the narrative form in which Frankenstein is written: a series of letters. Letter-writing is often intimate and familiar, and in this case also familial, all of which are Lunar qualities, in this instance expressed in Mercurial written form. 

          While much more could be elaborated in Mary Shelley’s natal chart, I would like to turn to the world transits that were in the sky at the time Frankenstein was published, on January 1, 1818. On that day, and for a short time before and after the publication date, there was a stellium in Sagittarius of Venus, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, with the smaller orbit of Venus bringing it briefly into the longer conjunction of Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, and the even longer conjunction of Uranus-Neptune that defined much of the Romantic era. While there are many complex ways in which this quadruple conjunction manifested in world events, the particular expression in relation to the publication of Frankenstein can be seen in the successful release of a beautiful piece of literary art produced by the creative imagination. The archetype of Jupiter grants success to whatever it touches, while Venus relates to the artistic expression, and Neptune to the imagination behind the project. Jupiter-Uranus alignments in world history regularly correlate to successful breakthroughs and the inauguration of new initiatives, and have been found to correlate with the first successful publications of numerous authors, including of course Mary Shelley.[5] 

          In her personal transits, the Venus-Jupiter-Uranus-Neptune stellium was conjoining Shelley’s natal Moon. While the archetype of the Moon is present in all individuals and certainly cannot be simply correlated with all women or “the feminine,” at the time Shelley lived women were often relegated or confined solely to the Lunar realms of home, family, and domestic matrimony by the then dominant patriarchal structures (which had largely appropriated the Solar archetypal role of the individual shining hero as a symbol of “the masculine”). The significance of the Venus-Jupiter-Uranus-Neptune stellium conjoining Shelley’s Moon can be seen in that she would have, in her time, been viewed, because she was a woman, as a Lunar figure who was successfully breaking out of the constrictive mold that did not encourage creative artistic or literary expression by women. The significance of the Moon in this particular case is not because she is a woman, but because of the primarily Lunar role women were usually required to take on. The archetypal energy of the successful Lunar figure is doubled by a transit that would have lasted for only a few hours on the particular day of publication: the Moon in the sky was transiting in opposition to Shelley’s natal Jupiter, which may have provided an increased sense of emotional joy and success for her.

          Another significant world transit that was just beginning to come into orb at the time of publication, but which would have become more exact as the book was disseminated and read by the public, was the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 1818. The energy of this transit would have been intensified for Shelley because, at the time of publication, Saturn was conjoining her natal Pluto as well. The archetype of Saturn is the reality principle that correlates to mortality, death, and gravity, but also to maturity and wisdom; Saturn is archetypally both hard consequences and the learning acquired from consequences. Saturn-Pluto correlates to the shadow side of the encapsulated egoic will to power that is so clearly expressed in Frankenstein. In his book on archetypal astrology, Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas describes Frankenstein as Shelley’s “prophetic Gothic masterpiece that depicted the monstrous shadow of the technological will to power.”[6] Shelley’s tale is one of death (Saturn) and destruction (Pluto), of moral (Saturn) depravity (Pluto), and of the Saturnian consequences of the soaring heights of Dr. Frankenstein’s, and modernity’s, Sun-Uranus visions of progress.

          Interestingly, the day Frankenstein was published the Sun in the sky was transiting opposite Shelley’s natal Saturn, shining a light on the principle of death, as well as the profound consequences of individual actions. Frankenstein is also a shining (Sun) example of a piece of narrative art that has withstood the test of time (Saturn) and come down to us today as a revered piece of literature: another expression of the Sun-Saturn archetypal complex that brought this book into the world from the pen of Mary Shelley.


          End Notes

          [1] Richard Tarnas, Prometheus the Awakener
          [2] Mary Shelley, The Original Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus
          [3] Shelly, Frankenstein
          [4] Shelley, qtd. in Janet Bukovinsky Teacher, Women of Words: A Personal Introduction to Thirty-Five Important Writers (Philadelphia, PA: Courage Books, 1994), 17.
          [5] Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche
          [6] Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche, 268.

          Works Cited

          Shelley, Mary. The Original Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. Edited by Charles E Robinson. New York, NY: Vintage Classics, 2008.

          Tarnas, Richard. Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View. New York, NY: Viking Penguin, 2006.

          Tarnas, Richard. Prometheus the Awakener: An Essay on the Archetypal Meaning of the Planet Uranus. Woodstock, CT: Spring Publications, 1995.

          Teacher, Janet Bukovinsky. Women of Words: A Personal Introduction to Thirty-Five Important Writers. Philadelphia, PA: Courage Books, 1994.

          becca tarnasAuthor Biography

          Becca Tarnas is an artist, writer, and doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion program in San Francisco. She uses art and storytelling as a means to reconnect with our planet Earth in this critical time of ecological crisis. Becca was educated at the San Francisco Waldorf School for thirteen years before pursuing Environmental Studies and Theater Arts at Mount Holyoke, and she also holds a master’s degree from CIIS in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. She is also a practitioner of archetypal cosmology, a form of astrology particularly focused on the archetypal relationships of the planets.


          • Mary Shelley
          • chart interpretation
          • mary wollstonecraft
          • Frankenstein
          • transits
            Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Wed, 21 Aug 2013 00:49:07 +0000
            Astrological Remediation: The subtle art of creating a brighter future, one transit at a time http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/editorials-opinions/item/471-astro-remediation http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/editorials-opinions/item/471-astro-remediation The Money Changer and His Wife

            Since coming into the study of astrology, I have deeply pondered the mechanism behind its magical and profound workings.  Any student of the subject has surely been amazed by its exactitude and precision in the timing of events, bodily illness, and passing moods that sweep through us in any given day. It is the unending and uncanny accuracy of astrology that keeps me motivated to continue my study. I also believe that astrology can be used to aid in healing. For instance, medical astrology can often be as accurate as a laboratory test, yet looking at the astrological chart is completely non-invasive.

            After working as a professional astrologer for over ten years, there came a point at which I could no longer stand idly by, merely observing malaise and joy as they were carried with the ebb and flow of planetary energies. Having watched these waves move through my own life, as well as the lives of friends, family, and clients, I craved some sort of method to help and heal during periods of great planetary duress.

            The moment I birthed my gorgeous daughter, this need to transmute energies became even more urgent. I vividly remember perusing the Ephemeris, only to notice that Saturn would be coming up to square her Sun, along with transiting Uranus, Mars, and the Moon. As an astrologer and new mother, this was quite upsetting, as her body was still tiny and new to the planetary energies. It was at this point that I began to ponder ways to optimally channel energies into their highest possible manifestation, thus beginning my life as an astrological remedialist. I have since devoted a great amount of time learning how to use astrology as a tool to remedy suffering of all kinds. It is my goal here to share a bit of what I have learned through experience, practice, and observation.

            Let us begin with the question:

            What is Astrology?  One definition could be:

            Astrology is the study of how the celestial bodies affect emotional, mental, and physical life on earth.

            And thus:

            Astrological Remediation is the use of any method necessary to heal and soothe problems indicated by celestial bodies in the astrological chart.

            A unique characteristic of astrological remediation is that it inherently examines and accepts the vibrational foundation of the individual who is seeking help. If Astrology could be described as a detailed study of individuality, astrological remediation could be understood as a fascinating journey into highly individualized healing methods.

            Many authors have described clearly the existence of illness as beginning within the energy-body. The energy-body (aura, soul essence, etc.) can easily be understood as the vibrational field surrounding each of us. The astrological chart wheel, planetary symbols, and aspects provide a schematic language to explain and describe the needs and tendencies of the energy-body.  

            Co-Counselling-CCI counsellor on the right (creative commons)Now let us look into an example of how we might use astrological remediation in real life. Suppose there is a man in his mid-forties who seems entirely unable to commit to a long-term relationship, even though marriage and children have been the most important dream of his entire adult life. Maybe he has always wanted a wife and children, but every time he finds himself in a healthy, happy relationship he instantaneously turns commitment-phobic and flees.

            Several different approaches could be used in an attempt to heal this self-defeating behavior. Behavioral therapy, one-on-one counseling, or discussing the problem with friends could all prove to be effective solutions. The man himself might try to remedy the problem through a repeated pattern of self-deprecating or shaming thoughts, during which he beats himself up over and over about his constant and unending ability to "control himself." While all of these methods do in fact try to attack the problem, none of them have yet looked into the underlying energetic difficulty that might be contributing to the behavior.   

            With astrological remediation, we will want to know why these behaviors keep occurring. And the why here may be very deep and at times surprising. The astrological chart of the fleeing man might show that the problem is caused by an unusually sensitive energy body. Perhaps we notice that he was born under the rays of a Sun/Moon/Saturn conjunction in Pisces. A combination such as this could indicate that through the process of intimately bonding with a partner, he begins to sense things that they are thinking and feeling. He might also experience suffocating sensations, or a sense of not knowing what is real and what is not. These feelings lead the man to the idea that something about the relationship is crazy-making. As a result, the man flees in order to escape feelings of suffocation and resurrect the ability to perceive and differentiate his own emotions and thoughts.

            The remediation for this problem could also be energetic, because the man's auric field happens to be very sensitive to vibrations in general. A stone, gem, flower essence, or homeopathic remedy could be used to alter the field to be less porous, or less apt to absorb outside energies. The astrological practitioner may also prescribe showers or swimming as methods of cleaning and clearing the man's energy-field, so that he might be able to better handle and manage outside influences.

            Now suppose that the same symptoms were to show up in the case of a woman who wanted to commit to a relationship but could not. Her behaviors might be almost identical to those of the overly sensitive man.    

            As soon as the woman settles into a healthy relationship, she ends up fleeing almost immediately. A look at the woman's astrological chart might indicate that the problem stems from a very different energetic combination--an extremely hot Mars, sitting together with the electric planet of Uranus. Every time the women were to experience a vibrational influxing to this part of her chart, she would unexpectedly feel excited and inflamed. These hot and electric feelings would lead her to get cranky with her boyfriends, unexpectedly cheat on them, or even break off these relationships entirely. The remedy used here would be very different than in the case of the overly sensitive man.

            As mentioned, the astrological remedial for the sensitive man might be something to block other people's vibrations from entering his field. In the case of the wily and excitable woman, the remedy would need to treat her overheated Mars, perhaps by cooling it off while also providing a healthy outlet for her overly rebellious side. A remedialist might prescribe an athletic outlet to this woman, such as boxing or mountain biking. The goal here would be to find an activity that would satisfy the riled-up cravings of her soul, in a manner that would be less destructive to the emotional relationships in her life.  

            Astrological remediation is an extremely useful method of healing, because it inherently approaches each situation as unique, and attempts to understand and fix the energetic root of the problems at hand. By healing the underlying difficulties within the chart, the problematic behaviors can be altered or fade away entirely.  

            Astrological remediation was common throughout the ancient traditions, yet seems to have become sparse in the modern, western thought structure. In the eastern traditions, remediation has been consistently used and developed throughout the centuries. A traditional Indian astrologer might prescribe the use of certain gems to remedy problems within the chart. An astrologer who is using the Indian system might also prescribe a mantra to her client, or a spiritual pilgrimage to a sacred site for a problem deep within the soul. In medieval times, astrological remediation was often practiced through the use of talismans, amulets, alchemy, and spells. The process can be quite technical and precise, yet healing seems to also be inherent in the nature of simple astrology itself.

            This brings us back to the remedial gifts that are borne from a study such as astrology. We have all had the experience of going to a clinic or emergency room, only to have a medical professional ask us fifty contrived and scripted questions, vaguely listen to our answers, and then prescribe us medicine. To some individuals, this is a form of remediation. From an astral point of view, understanding the patient's medical and qualitative make up before prescribing a method of healing is an important step missing from this equation. Without this information, it is very hard to entirely remedy a problem.  

            Many forms of modern medicine can be used to cover up or mask symptoms, but rarely do they release the energetic blockage that has caused or contributed to the problem at hand. The healing methods employed by a remedialist can and will take on a variety of forms. Remediation could be a placebo pill. It could be a massage. It could be a hearty round of parcheesi while listening to the neighbors fight over their toy poodle. In certain very stressful situations, the least offensive remediation might even take on the form of a makeover, complete with plastic surgeries. Whatever the case may be, it could be proposed that a combination of modern medical services combined with astrological insight could successfully aid in healing the body, mind, and spirit.  


            About the Author

            Andrea GehrzAndrea L. Gehrz spends her days running the Moira Press, a publishing company dedicated to producing intelligent, high level astrological texts. Having performed countless astrological consultations, Ms. Gehrz now focuses her work exclusively on all forms of astrological remediation. She enjoys working with curious adults, children, couples, and groups, helping to overcome difficult challenges and optimize the possibilities of any life situation.

            This material is explored in more depth in Astrological Remediation: A Guide for the Modern Practitioner. Andrea's website is MoiraPress.org.

            • remediation
            • predictive astrology
            • transits
            • magic
            • medical astrology
            • chart interpretation
              Editorials Fri, 16 Aug 2013 02:17:19 +0000
              Mary Shelley: A Pluto-Dominated Literary Life http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/466-mary-shelley-pluto-dominated http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/466-mary-shelley-pluto-dominated Mary Shelley: A Pluto-Dominated Literary Life

              My article revolves around the position of Pluto in Mary Shelley's chart and its powerful impact on the events in her life and her works - Chrisine Ferraro

              Born of philosopher and political writer William Godwin and famed feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (author of The Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792), Mary Shelley's early environment provided fertile ground for the growth of her intellectual and literary tendencies. The loss of her mother when she was only 11 days old was the first of many indicators that crisis, transformation, and revolution were going to be a major theme in her life.

              Pluto's placement at the apex of her chart, in electric Aquarius, indicates a hard-wiring of sorts, as if she were a lightning rod giving off and attracting powerful forces in her life. And its opposition to Mars in Virgo (conjunct her Sun and Uranus in the 4th house, anchoring the theme of reform to the foundation of her life) describes one with an indomitable will, doing battle with forces beyond her control. Her father described her at fifteen as "singularly bold, somewhat imperious, and active of mind. Her desire of knowledge is great, and her perseverance in everything she undertakes almost invincible."

              The preponderance of mutable (and thus mentally-oriented) placements in her chart, including the Nodes, speaks to her "literary life," based on intellectual exploration, a passion for ideas and their impact on society, and an intense drive to creatively express those ideas through the written word. The Moon in Sagittarius, as the out-of-bounds (and thus intensified) Ascendant ruler, is highlighted and especially significant, as it describes her thirst for knowledge, her priority need to explore the world of ideas, as well as a restless, adventurous drive to experience life. Its tense square to Mercury in its own sign of Virgo seems to have applied the thumbscrews to her intellect, driving her to not only seek out intellectual stimulation, but also to articulate in literary form that which arose from her emotional experiences and her subconscious.

              She was attracted to novel, progressive, and revolutionary streams of thought and immersed herself in the company of those of like mind. There is a theme of lawlessness, rebellion, and unconventionality repeated throughout her life, for which there is ample support in the chart. Pluto at the Aquarius MC overseeing all, receives aspects from the Moon in Sagittarius (sextile), Mercury in Virgo (quincunx), Mars and Sun in Virgo (opposition), and Jupiter in Aries (septile). 

              She flaunted the conventionalities of traditional married life (Mars, Sun, Uranus conjunction in Virgo in the 4th, sextile Saturn on the one side in the 1st and Neptune in Scorpio on the other in the 5th) by entering into an unorthodox and illicit affair with Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of her father's political followers. She believed in the non-exclusivity of marriage and "free love." For many years, the couple lived a nomad-like bohemian existence (oftentimes pursued by creditors), shared with many of their intellectual circle.

              The litany of losses and crises in Mary's life seems to be a testimony to a life chosen for lessons in the limits of personal power, endurance, release, rebirth, and relinquishment, as well as for rising to the status of immortality through her work. 

              Out of the five pregnancies and births that Mary experienced, only one child, a boy, survived to adulthood. Her losses of her children (at one point she nearly died from blood loss due to a miscarriage) induced acute periods of debilitating depression from which she escaped through her writing. During these times, however, she often became emotionally and physically inaccessible to her husband. The Mercury-Pluto quincunx in her chart (which, by the way, she inherited from her mother) is emblematic of the solace she sought in her writing and could, perhaps, be descriptive of her need to isolate herself in order to work through her grief.

              Suicide, another extreme Plutonian ideation, was no stranger to her either. Both Percy's wife and Mary's stepsister committed suicide in 1816, and although Mary may not have known it, her mother had made at least two attempts herself.

              Ultimately, one of her greatest and most traumatic losses was the accidental drowning death of her husband in July of 1822 when, after encountering bad weather, his sailing boat never reached its destination.

              Pluto's association with fame attracted those whose names would be long remembered for their works: Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Aaron Burr, and of course, Percy Shelley, whose fame is due in no small part to Mary's determination to share his genius with the world after his death. Mary's absorption with the ideas of power, transformation, political change, as well as an intense drive to reform, attest once again to Pluto's influence in her life and her work.

              Many of her novels were driven by Plutonian themes: Mathilda was narrated from a deathbed, dealt with issues of incest and suicide, and was written during a grief-stricken period in which she lost two of her children.

              In Valperga, the heroine is named Euthanasia and chooses political liberty and dies because of that choice. Last Man is an apocalyptic science fiction novel, where everyone dies but one man who is left in tragic isolation, and Ladore deals with ideological issues, especially education and the social roles of women and the pressure for them to be dependent on men.

              Many of her quotes reveal her intense, Plutonian turn of mind:

              Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.

              Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.

              The agony of my feelings allowed me no respite; no incident occurred from which my rage and misery could not extract its food.

              I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.

              And last but certainly not least, the novel for which she will most likely never be forgotten, her legacy: Frankenstein, or a Modern Prometheus.

              The seed idea for the novel, published when she was only 20 years of age, was planted when, in May 1816, she, Percy Shelley, and their son travelled to Geneva. Among other subjects discussed in the company of Lord Byron and others, the conversation turned to the experiments of the 18th-century natural philosopher and poet Erasmus Darwin, who was said to have animated dead matter, and to the feasibility of returning a corpse or assembled body parts to life. Sitting around a log fire at Byron's villa, the company also amused themselves by reading German ghost stories, prompting Byron to suggest they each write their own supernatural tale. Shortly afterwards, in a waking dream, Mary Godwin conceived the idea for Frankenstein.

              Pluto, with its dominion over death and regeneration, in Aquarius, the sign associated with science, seems to provide the quintessential signature for Shelley's legacy. The association in the title with Prometheus further brings home the themes of betrayal, power, and regeneration, as well as the ideals of intellectual and scientific advancement for which Prometheus gave up so much.

              On another, deeper level, one could say that we are called to look at our shadow side when we encounter Frankenstein's monster, where an obsession can go beyond reason into the world of madness and terror. Mary Shelley fearlessly brought the darkness to life and light and dared us to venture in.

              Brief bio:
              Christine Ferraro (www.skypathastrology.com) began her astrological studies in the 1970s, a time when she also began the journey of exploring the deeper, more spiritual side of life. Her focus in her work with her clients is on the development of understanding and self-awareness, thus empowering them to make more insightful and informed decisions and to move toward living a more conscious life. Christine writes, is on the faculty at the International Academy of Astrology, and also on the Board of the Organization for Professional Astrology. She lives in Churchville, PA, with her husband, Jules, and their two cats.

              • Mary Shelley
              • chart interpretation
              • lunar nodes
              • pluto
              • literature
                Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Mon, 15 Jul 2013 18:51:32 +0000
                Mary Shelley - A Vedic View http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/455-mary-shelley-a-vedic-view http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/455-mary-shelley-a-vedic-view Mary Shelley - A Vedic View

                The chart below is of Mary Shelley.  The box at top right in the diagram is Gemini, her ascendant, and the signs of the zodiac and 12 houses run clockwise from there.   In 1797 when Mary Shelley was born the difference in planetary positions between Western and Vedic Astrology was 21 degrees, so the usual 2 degree Cancer ascendant minus 21 degrees converts to 11 degrees Gemini.  This gives the visible astronomical positions for the ascendant and planets at the time of birth and allows many insights not available in Western Astrology.

                May Shelley's Chart

                Click the chart at left for a larger image.

                Birth with 8th lord Saturn in the ascendant aspecting the 2nd lord Moon in the 7th house shows both a difficult birth and possibility of the death of the mother. This is confirmed by the powerful Mercury in 4th. He is a benefic of course, but strong in the 4th house he is particularly dangerous. 4th house is the house of mother of course. Saturn is not all bad and birth with 9th lord Saturn in the ascendant emphasises the burden of fatherly responsibility. Sun representing father is also well placed in Leo, its own sign and aspects the 9th house. In Vedic Astrology 9th house represents father as parent and guardian. 10th house is only as husband of mother.

                Her father described her at fifteen as "singularly bold, somewhat imperious, and active of mind. Her desire of knowledge is great, and her perseverance in everything she undertakes almost invincible”. This fits the chart perfectly and so would be one of the ways to confirm that the birth time is fairly accurate. It may seem that you can not get much bolder than to have Mars and Sun in Leo in the 3rd house of courage, and imperious as this is Leo, but in fact her Moon at 6 degrees 49 minutes of Sagittarius in the 7th house is also an example in Vedic Astrology of a precocious strong willed girl. Also Mercury and Venus in 4th house give a very strong, active mind. The Moon’s precise position in Sagittarius also gives a predisposition to writing and study, as that part of Sagittarius is related to Gemini. Mercury and Venus together in Virgo show the benefit of a very good education. She had a governess, a daily tutor, and read many of her father's children's books on Roman and Greek history in manuscript. She was also full of energy. Born on a Wednesday with exalted Mercury gives exceptional physical and mental energy.

                The 9th house is related to travel and the 12th to foreign lands. Rahu is strong in Taurus and in Vedic Astrology he is considered as lord of 9th house Aquarius jointly with Saturn – just as Uranus would be in Western Astrology. This is a powerful incentive to go abroad and also to live there, which Mary Shelley did for some years, until the death of her husband. Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is debilitated in Virgo, but when it is with Mercury it recovers from this in some way. Leaving home – 4th house Virgo – to go abroad is shown in the chart, especially as Rahu aspects Virgo. Prominent 4th house matters happen very early in a person’s life.

                Venus is called Kavi in Sanskrit, which means poet, but in Virgo Venus has to be more practical and so coupled with the brilliant Mercury this supports her gifted writing ability, shown by Mercury. She could write poetry, but would be inspired to express her thoughts in prose. The retrograde nature of Jupiter focuses it more on Virgo, which it aspects, and being 7th and 10th lord it determines her career.

                She struggled financially for many years. Virgo is called her Arudha Lagna and if you have no planets in the 11th and 2 planets in the 12th from the Arudha Lagna your financial situation is precarious: expenses are high and income is patchy. Fortunately with 11th lord Mars and Sun in 3rd – both houses relating to friends - she had great faith in herself and her friends, so that carried her through many difficult times.

                There are predictive time lines in Vedic Astrology called Dashas. The main system focuses on 120 years as the life period, as chapter 6 of the Book of Genesis in the Bible also states. Frankenstein was published in 1818. The concept for the novel is said to have come to Mary Shelley in a dream. Dreams are to do with 9th house and 12th house represents sleep. Rahu, also representing a monster, is 9th lord in 12th. The novel was written and published in Venus Mercury Dasha. Jupiter, the planet which governs dreams and sleep, aspects both Venus and Mercury, powerfully as it is retrograde.

                Percy Shelley was lost at sea on or shortly after 8th July 1922. In this Dasha system his death took place in Sun Rahu Saturn Dasha of Mary Shelley’s chart. The more precise the time the more levels of Dasha can be used. The husband’s death is prefigured in the wife’s chart. Sun gives the possibility of the event, Rahu the experience of it and Saturn describes what happened. Sun in 3rd in Leo shows boldness, courage and absence of fear. Shelley and his companions went to sea despite foreknowledge of a storm and a likely difficult journey. Rahu is in the 10th house from the Sun, so Rahu is empowered – he is very strong in 10th house at any time. Rahu is also in the 12th house of the birth chart. 12th house represents loss and also 12th house, similarly to Pisces, represents the ocean. Both Rahu and Ketu can represent a storm in different ways. Saturn is in the second house from Rahu. Second house is called Maraka, which means indicating death. Saturn in the first house of the birth chart is also in a death like position for Saturn as a planet, as he hates being in the 1st house, and he is aspected by Jupiter, who is lord of Pisces, the ocean. Saturn also rules the 8th house and within the 8th, Capricorn is the principal indicator of marriage partner in this chart. Rahu involved as the nature of the experience shows shock. In addition to this you would also be able to see Ketu in Scorpio, the most dangerous sign for Capricorn, which relates to Mary Shelley’s husband, describing a boat on the water, aspected by Mars, showing physical danger. Mars does not protect from physical danger as he represents fire, which destroys everything. Ketu in Scorpio is in trine to Pisces and Pisces represents the ocean and in this chart is the precise sign describing the place of death of Mary Shelley’s husband. Trines show closely related matters. Moon, ruling Cancer, the other trine, is in Sagittarius and that would show that Percy Shelley fell from the boat into the sea.

                This is how the whole life of a person can gradually be unfolded in Vedic Astrology.
                All of the rules applied here are thousands of years old.

                Gordon Brennan

                May 2013

                Gordon Brennan has studied Vedic Astrology for 20 years and is also qualified in Sanskrit, the language in which it was originally written down. He has a post graduate qualification in astrology from India called Jaimini Scholar and also is the committee member of the British Association for Vedic Astrology responsible for education. www.bava.org/education

                • Mary Shelley
                • Vedic astrology
                • Jyotish
                • chart interpretation
                  Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Sat, 18 May 2013 15:43:35 +0000
                  Mary Shelley and the First House http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/454-mary-shelley-and-the-first-house http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/454-mary-shelley-and-the-first-house Mary Shelley and the First House

                  I will focus only on the first house, the zodiac sign that is located inside the first house; the Ascendant; the ruling planet of Ascendant and the planet that is inside the first house. Click here for a large version of Mary Shelley's chart in a new window.

                  The Ascendant is at the 2nd degree of Cardinal sign, Cancer. A child expects to receive the emotional protection and also the nutrition and education from a mother, instead there is “a cold and dry Saturn”. Saturn can also be the authority in the chart. And indeed this Saturn ‘plays-out'. Mary loses her mother at the age of eleven days and her father is the parent who gives her basic education and ‘bringing-up’. (Her biography notes that Mary Godwin's mother died when she was eleven days old; afterwards, she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were raised by her father).

                  Mary's Mother (moon) was keen-on philosophy and femininist issues and she can be traced in the Moon's placement in Sagittarius (biography: her mother was a philosopher and feminist).

                  Back to the Saturn inside the first house and quoting Christopher Warnock's example of a ‘malefic’ inside a house’:

                  The 3rd house is ruled by Saturn, the Greater Malefic, who is also in Pisces. He has some dignity, but this is a somewhat uncomfortable placement for him as it goes against his basic nature. My sense is that as Saturn naturally rules melancholy and sadness, that his placement in Pisces is another indication of the presence of depression in pain in your life. His dignity, however, shows that this is not all to the bad, however and we can see from the other positive areas of your chart that this pain can bring wisdom and compassion for yourself and for others. Saturn in cancer has only term (between 27th until 30th degree).

                  So in Marry Shelley’s case Saturn is not in term, since it is in the 9th degree of cancer. However there is an absence mother and a difficult childhood.

                  Regarding her mother’s death, I would diagnose that one indicator is that there is a square between Venus and the Ascendant. Ptolemy gives us the following nice quotation in the Tetrabiblos:

                  If, however, Mars be succedent to the Moon and Venus, or in quartile or opposition to them, or, if Saturn be similarly aspected to the Moon only, and both of them be void of course or retrograde, or cadent, adverse accidents and disease will attend the mother; should they, on the other hand, be swift in motion and placed in angles, they portend that her life will be short, or grievously afflicted. Their position in the oriental angles, or succedent houses, particularly denotes the shortness of her life; and, in those which are occidental, her affliction. In the same manner, should Mars be thus aspected to the Moon (and should that luminary at the same time be oriental), the mother's sudden death, or some injury in her face or eyes, will be produced: and, if the Moon be then occidental, death will be occasioned by miscarriage in parturition, by inflammation, or by wounds. Such are the effects which ensue from these aspects made by Mars to the Moon; but, should he make them to Venus, death will then take place from fever, some latent disease, or sudden sickness. Saturn's aspect 1, to the Moon, when she is oriental, inflicts on the mother disease and death from extreme colds, or fevers; but, should the Moon be occidental, the danger arises from affections of the womb, or from consumption.

                  If we apply both planets signifying mother (Venus or Moon), they are shaping two obvious squares, the first with the ascendant and the second with mercury.

                  On the other hand, the Sun is forming a nice sextile with Saturn, and the Sun is in the fourth house, representing also her house and early years. The fact that she is choosing her future partners from her father’s circle of associates is not shocking, since her relationships are ruled by Capricorn, the sign that Saturn is ruling. (Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers). Finally even her partner is involved with society and politics and the Capricorn influence in regards of power and politics is ‘playing-out’.

                  The fact that she is trying to ‘resurrect’ death into life in her writings may be the effect of Saturn inside the Ascendant and sextile the Sun (life-bearer) inside the fourth house.

                  Short Bio

                  I am Georgios A. Panayides, from Nicosia, Cyprus. I am 31 and I am studying Esotericism since the age of 17.
                  I don’t usually boast for my Knowledge. I would rather learn more than say: “I learned everything”. I particularly enjoy classical astrology. I study especially the Renaissance period and I follow scholars on the matter such as Christopher Warnock; William Ramesey and William Lilly.
                  I practice Law and sometimes I use charts to discover potential challenge on my cases.

                  • Mary Shelley
                  • chart interpretation
                  • houses
                    Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Sat, 18 May 2013 15:43:35 +0000
                    Mary Shelley: The Inventive Writer with a Lasting Legacy http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/451-shelley-ashman http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/451-shelley-ashman Cover for Tales and Stories by Mary Shelley

                    By Bernie Ashman 

                    This short article is focused on the unique ability of Mary Shelley to tell a story with great imagination by thinking out of the box. She was born with her Virgo Sun sign in conjunction to the planet that triggers innovation, Uranus. It gave her a strong mind that did not fear what others might think of her even after publishing a book such as Frankenstein during the 19th century. Uranus is the ruler of her 9th house with the sign Aquarius placed upon its cusp. The 9th house has connections to publishing, education and writing. Both Uranus and Aquarius have an emphasis on independence. Ms Shelley was self-educated early in life and loved making use of her father’s vast library. She said that this is where she found peace of mind.

                    (Click here for a large version of Mary Shelley's chart in a new window.)

                    The Moon has special prominence in our childhood years. Ms Shelley’s Sagittarius Moon gave her an early fondness for books. She published a poem through her father’s newsletter at age ten! The Sagittarius influence filled her lunar instincts with a love of the world. It was while in Scotland she met her future husband, the famous poet Percy Shelley. The couple made friends with Lord Byron while traveling in Switzerland who introduced Mary to the idea of writing a novel that centered around a horror story. Sagittarius has rulership over foreign people, cultures and even concepts introduced from a variety of sources. It is no wonder that a woman born in England might get her writing inspired in Scotland.

                    One last point about this Sagittarius Moon. It forms a wide trine (120 degree aspect) to Jupiter, the natural ruler of Sagittarius. This is a key repeating theme in her chart that indicates a bit of luck in the writing field. It gave her the optimism to put her thoughts on paper and share them with the public. Also, just like with the 9th house, both Sagittarius and Jupiter play heavily into publishing.

                    Mercury is the planet that has strong links to communication and very much writing. Her Mercury was in the same sign of Virgo as was her Sun, Mars and Uranus. Her attention to detail through Virgo was magnificent. She was a pragmatic writer. But where was the imagination connection in her chart? Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo in Astrology. Gemini is a powerhouse influence for any writer. This sign is intercepted in her 12th house. The 12th house represents her imagination in a large way. This is the house that gives an individual access to the collective unconscious and to tell a story with a penetrating intuitive awareness of how to reach many readers. It was as though writing was her Meditation and gave her a dynamic Spiritual experience! The 12th house is where we seek unity and to have faith in our highest values. This particular house is where a person can stay hidden as well. When Frankenstein was published people did not know who wrote the book as it was released anonymously! It was believed that Mary’s husband, Percy Shelley must have written it. It was later that the word got out about the true author being Mary Shelley.

                    Ms Shelley’s final novel, Mathilde, was not released until the 1950's, one hundred years after her death in 1853! Frankenstein remains a story and book still praised today as a masterpiece. What in her chart refers to this legacy left long after her death? Pluto is the planet in astrology related to legacies. It sits at the top of her chart in the 10th house. The 10th house is connected to career and what we are trying to show the public. In this instance it reveals an author that likely will remain in our memory for centuries to come!


                    About the Author:

                    Bernie Ashman (www.bernieashman.com) began studying astrology in 1973 after encountering a book, The Astrology of Personality by a Frenchman, Dane Rudyhar. He came upon this book in a bookstore in Atlanta (he says it found him!). He practices Western Astrology because he believes it best fits his style of working with clients.He offers a wide variety of services including Birthchart Interpretation, Relationship Analysis, Past Life Patterns, Local Space Astology and interpeting Current Cylces through progressions and transits. His focus is on empowering people through helping them make insightful decisions.

                    Bernie has published numerous articles, written interpretations for astrological software and written several books, including RoadMap to your Future: A Quick Guide to Transits and Progressions, SignMates: Understanding the Games People Play, Sun Signs and Past Lives and Astrology & Intuition. He really appreciates his many clients. He says writing, teaching and lecturing have been very rewarding. Bernie is known for tuning into the reality a person is presently living and being a catalyst for their growth and inspiration. Bernie enjoys residing in Durham, NC, with his wife, Beth, and their Siamese cat, Mocha.

                    • Mary Shelley
                    • chart interpretation
                      kepler@kepler.edu (Kepler) Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Wed, 01 May 2013 22:46:39 +0000